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Apr 8, 2013 08:32 AM

Last supper

Hi everyone, I'm going to be in San Diego for the first time this week and I need to plan dinner for my husband and me for Wednesday night. I'm flying home on Thursday Morning and will be having surgery that will make eating very difficult for the next several months. So what I'm really planning is my last great dinner out for a very long time.

Details: we are staying downtown/gas lamp area and won't have a car. Not opposed to taking a taxi some distance but not really up for a $50 cab ride - I'd rather spend it on dinner.

We are adventurous eaters but in this case I want delicious more than unique. High end is good but not required.

So help me. Where would you plan your final meal out for months?

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  1. If you are staying downtown Cafe Chloe will be your best bet for a great dinner. They don't take reservations but the wait is normally not too long (~10-15 minutes). There are other decent restayurants downtown but nothing for a "last supper" quality.

    10 Replies
      1. re: honkman

        Is Cafe Chloe really even a great "last supper" meal? I think of it as a great neighborhood restaurant but not really destination dining in any way.

        What about 1500 Ocean or J-Six?

        1. re: DougOLis

          It wouldn't be my first choice for "last supper" in SD but OP wants to stay in downtown where it is by far the best choice, better than JSix

          1. re: honkman

            If there is nothing suitable downtown, I'd consider going outside. We want to see the city anyway so maybe in an area we an spend some time walking around and then go to dinner. I'm open to options :)

            1. re: tifschier

              Addison, no question for me. Breakfast at Las Quatros Milpas, lunch at Grab n Go, then exercise to work off some food, then dinner at Addison.

              1. re: tifschier

                Georges at the Cove (in la Jolla which is also very nice to walk around during the day) has a very good menu focusing on California cuisine. They also have during the week each night one table (called TBL3) where they serve a special, ever changing 13-14-course tasting menu with many ingredients from local farms or foraged by the chef. If you really want to know what Southern California cuisine is all about that might be your best option. But also the regular menu (including a nice 6-course tasting menu available every night) is something to get a feeling of the our local cuisine.

                1. re: honkman

                  This week Brandon Hernandez of The San Diego Reader has an awesome two-part post about his meal at TBL3.

                  The photos are beautiful and start your mouth watering:


          2. re: honkman

            I would also go with Cafe Chloe.

            Here's their dinner menu:

            1. re: 4wino

              The menu changes very often and when we were there last week none of the entrees are the same as on pdf (which is most likely from around last November/December)

          3. What do you like to eat?

            I mean, if it was me, I think I'd probably opt for an omakase extravaganza at either Shino or Hane.

            Either that, or head up to Cucina Urbana and have a multi-course meal that starts off with one of their mason jar toasts along with an antipasti platter, then move on to a hearty pasta to share (maybe a boar ragu), before completing the savory portion of your meal with either a roast chicken or nice pork chop, and then finish off dinner with a chocolate tart or vanilla panna cotta.

            1. I think the point here is not that the OP will never eat again, it's just a temporary thing. With that in mind, I don't think it's necessary to go to Addison or or TBL3 (although those are great places to go if you can afford it).

              I think Cafe Chloe is fine (or even Cowboy Star)

              9 Replies
              1. re: karaethon

                Not Cowboy Star. I am always surprised how positive Cowboy Star is reviewed here. I had a few dinners there and none of them really impressed me, steak was OK, sides and appetizers (foie gras, pork belly, steak tartare)diasppointing.

                1. re: honkman

                  Cowboy Star gets mostly high reviews within the context of "classic steak joints". I have the impression that is not your cup of tea, honkman, so unless they were absolutely amazing I could see why you wouldn't be thrilled.

                  With that said, I've seen a lot less buzz about Cowboy Star in the last year or so.

                  1. re: honkman

                    With you 100%. The only time I was there, the service was beyond terrible and the steak was incredibly fatty/grisly. Bit tough in spots as well. Overall not a good experience.

                    1. re: honkman

                      I read and respect just about everything you post here, but must register disagreement with your comment on CS.

                      I've had many steak tartares over the years, initially in Europe and more recently in NY, Sf and Las Vegas at Robuchon. The one at CS is, to my taste, right at the top. As an aside, the evolution of this dish is interesting. Early on the beef was ground or scraped, but more recently it is hand cut, which I think is markedly superior.

                      The foie, which hasn't been offered there since the ban last July, seemed competent as I recall.

                      1. re: mcgrath

                        The quality of the meat and how they cut it is not the problem but they could simply do some magic by using salt and pepper. When I had it the first time it was obvious by taste and visual that they didn't use any salt and pepper but I assumed it was just a mistake. Several months later I ordered it again - same problem and a very disappointing non-existend flavor but apparently their way of offering this dish. If I need my steak tartare fix I get it as a frequent daily special just down the street as Cafe Chloe.Urban Solace has also a version but it is very chilled served (they even write it on the menu) which doesn't really help the flavors to develop. Steak tartare should be served at room temperature not directly out of the fridge.

                        1. re: honkman

                          Salt and pepper isn't necessary in steak tartare and in many cases would be superfluous if the proper amounts of dijon mustard, hot sauce, Worcestershire, capers and/or cornichons are used.

                          To say that the tartare does not taste good because the seasoning is not to your liking is one thing; to say it is not good simply because there is no salt and pepper is myopically peculiar.

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            Hot sauce shouldn't be part of a steak tartare, mustard can be served at the side, worcestershire sauce is often too overwhelming - I strongly prefer mine with salt and pepper but even if somebody uses only mustard, hot sauce etc the balance should be good within the limits of personal preferences like restaurants do with every dish. In this case twice the dish had no evidence of even reasonable levels of salt and pepper or some substituted) - so I guess it is their preferred way to serve it which makes it for me ( and any culinary discussion is always subjective) one very weak dish.

                          2. re: honkman

                            Agree completely the dish should be served at room temp. Those who serve it cold, and I've had it that Way more than once, must think it's reassuring to diners if their raw beef is served cold. My favorite presentation is to serve the freshly chopped beef in individual portions, each one topped with a quail egg, then 7 or 8 ingredients on the side, allowing each diner to mix their own.

                      2. re: karaethon

                        " Where would you plan your final meal out for months?"

                        I believe was the question, correct?